Child custody orders written by the family court are done to best accommodate both parents and their children.

While these orders generally work well for all involved parties, child custody lawyers do acknowledge that circumstances may arise among parents where a change in the court order is needed.

Unfortunately, unless the custody orders are at least a year old, having them changed is not an easy task to successfully complete.

If your child custody orders are less than a year old but you want to request modifications, you may only do so if your request meets certain qualifications.

When Can A Child Custody Order Be Modified?

Child custody orders are written to make co-parenting and the completion of all other necessary parental duties as convenient as possible for both parents.

Since life changes do happen, you can petition to modify the existing orders with the help of attorneys who provide child custody modification legal services and can help determine what changes to request and how to go about requesting such amendments.

The one stipulation in those custody orders is that they generally cannot be changed within the first year after being assigned by the court, at least not without a valid reason.

Only in cases where circumstances meet specific requirements is it possible to petition to have custody orders modified.

What Is Allowed To Be Modified?

There are three circumstances that the family court considers valid reasons for parents and their child custody lawyers to petition for the changing of custody orders before the first year of those orders has passed:

  1. Parent holding primary custody is the one requesting the change or agrees to the change requested by the other parent.

  2. The current living environment could now be considered unhealthy to the child physically, emotionally, or otherwise.

  3. The primary custodian has already allowed another party to have primary care of the child for at least 6 months.

Only in these three cases may a petition be filed requesting a change to the custody order before a year has passed since the original order was written.

The only exclusion to these three reasons is when the primary custodian is actively deployed in the military, in which case either parent can request that a temporary custody modification be issued and a temporary primary custodian is assigned without changing the actual primary custody order. 

What Date Determines Your First Year Period?

When determining the dates of your current custody order to know whether your request for modification will be considered an acceptable reason by the court, you must know the date that your orders went into effect: 

  • If your order was decided based on mediation or a settlement agreement, the date that the agreement was signed by all parties is the effective date. 

  • If your order was assigned by a judge after a custody hearing or trial, the date that the judge decided the details of the order is the effective date no matter when the custody order was signed.

Do Your Circumstances Meet the Requirements? 

When you are looking at changes in your child custody orders, how easily you can get that done requires knowing when the order was effectively signed as well as the nature of the requested modification.

Whatever modification you are seeking before a year has passed, it’s important to consult with child custody modification legal services for assistance.

Hopefully you can determine what modifications are needed and whether they fit the qualifications to have a custody order changed prior to one year. 

Foreman Family Law

309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803

(979) 217-6279